University of Tennessee at Knoxville Says It Can’t Speak to Why Its Test-Optional Admissions Excludes Home-Schooled Students

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) told The Tennessee Star that no one there can explain why home-schoolers are excluded from its test-optional admissions. Also excluded are those students whose schools didn’t use alpha or numerical grading systems. UTK’s test-optional policy will last until fall 2025.

“Unfortunately, we do not have anyone who can comment around that topic in particular at this time,” stated the UTK spokesperson.

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University of Tennessee, Knoxville to Require SAT, ACT Scores For Home-Schoolers, But Not For Public School Students Through Fall 2025

Person filling in exam answers

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) will be test-optional until fall 2025 for all applicants – unless you were home-schooled. UTK will prohibit home-schoolers from capitalizing on their test-optional policy, as well as those students from schools that didn’t use alpha or numerical grading systems. UTK said their decision reflected a commitment to equity in a press release issued on Thursday.

The test-optional policy doesn’t mean that eligible applicants get a free pass entirely from admissions. According to the UTK admissions page, applicants that don’t submit their ACT or SAT scores will be considered a “test-optional applicant” and must submit an additional essay. However, the essay has less to do with academics and more to do with character – the current prompt this year asks applicants to recount an example of their leadership in a personal essay.

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Belmont University Will Continue ‘Test Optional’ Admissions Criteria

Belmont University announced that it would continue its test-optional admissions policy for the 2021-2022 admissions. Students will no longer be required to submit ACT or SAT scores for either admissions or scholarship eligibility. This, in addition to the continued acceptance of pass/fail grades.

Their admissions team determined that the COVID-19 pandemic presented significant challenges for students applying to the university. The university issued the update earlier this week, shortly after announcing that its new president would be Dr. Gregory L. Jones. Belmont Associate Provost and Dean of Enrollment Service Dr. Chris Gage explained that they’d decided to shift their priority focus onto student qualities and backgrounds rather than traditional testing standards for admissions.

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